Magazine article District Administration

New High School Takes Flight

Magazine article District Administration

New High School Takes Flight

Article excerpt

WHAT: Ross Shaw Sterling Aviation High School

WHERE: Houston ISD, Texas Sterling Aviation High School, a magnet school, has taught aviation sciences, maintenance and operations, including flight certification, to those interested in aviation careers for more than a half century. Now, a new facility designed around an airplane hangar prepares students for new heights.

CHALLENGE: Previously, the school grappled with transportation issues because it was spread out over four older buildings, and aviation maintenance students had to travel to nearby training facilities in Houston for hands-on learning activities such as rebuilding engines and planes. And when the school's longtime training partner shut down its business a few years ago, the aviation maintenance program was temporarily suspended.

"When we went to build the new building, we asked how we could prevent that from happening again," says Justin Fuentes, Sterling Aviation's principal. "Now if a partner leaves, we can find another one and they can send an instructor to us to teach these classes here on campus."

SOLUTION: The 237,000-squarefoot, three-story building accommodates classroom instruction and hands-on training for up to 1,800 students interested in aviation-related careers. The centerpiece is a massive, two-story hangar--lined with large viewing windows and classrooms--where students get to work directly on a Cessna and a Skyhawk airplane, as well as various engines. …

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